I Am Moving, But Want To Keep My Current Home As An Investment Property

The process of going from being a homeowner to a real estate investment/landlord is an exciting time. Not only are you working towards creating an extra revenue stream for your income, but you’re investing in what has historically been one of the best places – real estate!

When it comes to investing in real estate and being a landlord there is a lot to know and a lot to consider for liability purposes. In this article, we’ll discuss the ways to close the gaps with your insurance on your investment property.

Get a landlord insurance policy

Landlord insurance will insure your Dwelling/rental property as well as offer additional coverage for items stored at the property such as:

  • Additional buildings on premise such as sheds or garages
  • Equipment like tools, washing machines or other appliances used by tenant

In addition to property damage, landlords or rental property owners may also face legal ramifications for events that take place on the property they own. Having additional coverage for Legal Defense may help pay for legal fees from lawsuits like:

  • Libel or slander
  • Accidental Damage
  • Wrongful eviction

Get an umbrella policy, or consider increasing your liability limit on your umbrella policy

Being a landlord comes with an increased liability exposure. You can protect yourself with above and beyond insurance coverage in the form of an umbrella insurance policy to increase your liability limits that you purchase.

Think your liability limits are enough? Take this recent claim settlement:

A renter had notified the landlord that the boiler in the rental property was acting up and the landlord didn’t act quickly enough. Shortly after that call, a toddler severely scalded themselves and required months of painful skin grafts and therapy. The attorney settled with the landlord for the policy limits of $3 million.

Eliminate dangers around the property to limit your exposure

When you’d looking to eliminate liability exposures around a property, check some of these items:

  • Stair railings – check for loose or rotten railings inside and outside of the home
  • Trip hazards – walk the property and eliminate any large edges where someone could fall or trip
  • Swimming pools – if your property has a swimming pool, these pose major dangers to children. Be sure there is a fence with a self-closing gate that locks behind the person entering to stop curious neighborhood children or unattended children from entering the pool.

Owning investment property can be very rewarding, but do be aware of the additional risks there are. Fully eliminating your liability exposures is not ever a possibility, but mitigating your risk is. This is where we can help you come up with a comprehensive insurance package that protects you and your rental property. We would recommend scheduling a time to speak with one of our licensed agents to find you the right coverage and company for your rental property.

To Our Clients and Friends

Heuer Insurance Agency is committed to serving you while also trying to keep our employees, clients, and community safe during this pandemic. Due to the ever-changing environment, we have opted to temporarily re-close our physical office. Our doors are locked but our team is still available to provide you with the same care and service you expect.

You can reach us by phone, email, or text during normal business hours. Most, if not all day to day transactions can be handled this way. If necessary, we can schedule an appointment with a designated meeting space and minimal contact. At this time, face-covering will be required for all in-office meetings.

Please call or text our main number, 775.358.5554 or email us at [email protected] for all your insurance needs during this time.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

National Insurance Awareness Day – June 28th

Consider Sunday, June 28th a day to think about your current insurance policy. While this can be a good time to do annually at your renewal, you may have been thinking about your policy again since COVID-19 hit.

Reach out to your agent.

We can do an in depth review of your current insurance policy based off of your current situation. We can look for any gaps in coverage and explain in detail your limits and what it means.

  • Other things to think of – have you done any home remodeling or have items in your house appreciated? If so, make sure to let us know so your policy is up to date.
  • Will you be making any big changes that may affect the amount of insurance coverage you need?
  • Are you considering other insurance policies?
  • Are you car or home shopping?

Are you a business owner?

Has your business made any changes with added or removed staff, services, products, etc.? Have you moved your business to an at-home business? If so, reach out to us regarding an endorsement so you are covered. Out agents can review your business insurance policy. There are many ways to ensure your business is covered whether it’s through a business owner’s insurance policy, workers comp, cyber liability, general liability and many more options.

Safety measures for your business

Let June 28th be a reminder of all the safety measures your staff should be practicing while at work. This is something your team should do at least once a year. Have can you lower your risk for an injury at work?

Insurance gives you a great sense of security. Whether it’s protecting your assets or your loved ones, let us help you ensure you have the best coverage.

Why working with an Independent Insurance agent matter

Independent Insurance Agents represent multiple top-rated insurance companies. This gives you more choice in coverage, pricing, payment options and discounts when shopping for all of your insurance needs. Not only do independent agents represent better choices, coverage and pricing, they are also a part of your local community which means they understand the unique risks, challenges and companies who have the best pricing in your area.

When you’re looking for insurance for your car, home, business or other product, know that picking an independent insurance agent is the right choice. You’ll get comparative quotes so you can decide which company fits your insurance needs best.

What Should I Know About Dog Bite Insurance Claims?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowner insures paid over $796.8 million as a result of 17,802 dog bite claims in 2019. We would like to briefly go over what happens if your dog were to bite someone and of course, how to prevent a dog bite claim.

What Would Happen If My Dog Bit Someone?

Homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy includes liability coverage which will likely cover you for the damages. Keep in mind, some insurance carriers do not offer liability coverage for specific dog breeds. They also may offer some, but limit the amount of coverage available. Talk to your agent about what breeds may not be covered. If you are not covered, you would have to pay out of pocket for the damages caused by your dog. If your insurance provides coverage it is likely your insurance premium will increase at renewal or you could even be dropped from your insurance carrier.

How to Lower Your Risk for a Dog Bite Claim

Don’t ever assume your dog won’t bite someone.

You can have the sweetest dog on the planet, but you still can’t make the assumption that your dog won’t bite. Watching your dog’s behavior around strangers or even family and friends is crucial. Never leave your dog alone with children who might cause the dog to nip if harassed or injured.

If you adopt a pet, do your research

What should you know about your breed’s common behavior? Ask several questions with the adoption agency. Have they noticed specific behaviors you should be aware of? Understanding what triggers your dog’s aggression or what makes them uncomfortable can save you from a dog bite claim down the road.

Know The Signs Your Dog May Be Uncomfortable, Anxious or Aggressive

Dog bites are common in these scenarios. Dogs may react to such things as taking away their food or a toy or even touching them while eating.

  1. Aggressive
  • Stiff tail, intense stare, growling, hair up on back.
  1. Uncomfortable/anxious
  • Pulled back ears, tucked tail, no eye contact, lowered head or body

Get some training

Whether you are a dog owner or someone who doesn’t own a dog, being around a dog with good behavior is ideal. Obedience training can benefit any dog.

Socialize Your Dog

When your dog is around other dogs and people, it can help them work through any anxieties they may feel.

Be Extra Aware Around Children

This goes back to our number one answer, don’t assume your dog will never bite. If your dog is around children they aren’t familiar with, watch for signs of your dog being uncomfortable.

Get Your Pet Spayed or Neutered

This can help with a dog’s aggression.

Being a dog owner can bring so much happiness into your life. Use these tips to worry less about your dog biting a loved one or a stranger. For questions about your home or renters insurance policy and what coverages are available for dogs, contact us! We can go over your current policy or even find you a different insurance carrier who may be a more ideal fit for pet ownership.

Heuer Insurance Re-Opening

To our clients and friends,

We hope that you and your families have remained safe and healthy throughout this uncertain time. As our state continues the process of reopening, our team is excited to announce the opening of our doors as well.

The goal of keeping our team, our families and clients comfortable and safe remains our priority. We will be implementing some procedures to ensure compliance with state requirements, as well as the health and safety of our clients and team members.

We will open our doors to the public on June 8th. We ask that all clients call to make an appointment when practical or utilize the existing technology in place in order to continue to minimize contact whenever possible. To further limit our exposure, we want to remind you that all payments are to be sent directly to your insurance carrier, we do not accept payments in the office. Our staff will be abiding by stringent sanitizing guidelines throughout our office and common meeting spaces, as well as providing sanitizer for general use. While we will not require clients or staff to wear face coverings, we have made masks available at the office and encourage you to take the precautions that you see fit while meeting with our team. It is possible that if the member of our team you are meeting with is more comfortable wearing a mask then we may politely ask you to wear one too. We ask that all staff and clients practice social distancing while interacting, including not shaking hands and not gathering close together.

Our community has done an incredible job in coming together during this time and we will continue doing our best to keep our staff and clients healthy and safe. Please reach out to us with any questions or concerns and we look forward to speaking with you.

Thank you,

Everything You Should Know About Motorcycle Insurance

Spring is here, which means motorcycle season has arrived. Whether you enjoy going on long road trips or simply just like taking your motorcycle for a ride around your town, it’s important you have the right insurance coverage in the event you have to file a claim.

What You Should Know About Your Insurance & How Your Rate Can Be Calculated

Where You Live Matters

If you can ride your motorcycle year round, there is a chance you may pay more than an individual who can only ride during warmer months. Why? With your shortened window for riding, individuals who have a “motorcycle season” lower their risk for an accident.

Your Experience & Age Matter

This shouldn’t be too shocking to read. If you are an experienced motorcycle rider, you may have a lower rate vs. someone who just bought their first motorcycle. Your age factors in with your experience. Like car insurance, young drivers usually pay higher rates. However, if you are 50 years old and have no experience, you may pay more for insurance compared to a 30 year old who has 10 years of experience.

Your Riding History Matters

Just like car insurance, your riding history matters. Accidents, claims and tickets all play a role in your motorcycle insurance rate.

What Type of Bike You Own Matters

High performance bikes may be more to insure. If your bike has a big engine, that too can cost more to insure.

What Type of Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Should I Have?

Talk to one of our licensed agents about this. We can explain all coverage options. Some of these coverages are mandatory, but others are optional.  Here are a few to consider below.

Comprehensive insurance – covers you in the event your bike is damaged due to vandalism, falling trees/debris, storms, hitting an animal, theft, windshield damage, etc.

Liability – this covers you if you are responsible for causing damage or injuring someone else.

Collision – covers your motorcycle if you collide with a vehicle or object regardless if you are at fault or not.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage – if your bike is damaged by someone who isn’t carrying insurance or is underinsured. This coverage provides coverage up to your policy limits. Bonus – it can cover your injuries too.

Have custom parts for your bike? Get it covered. Some carriers automatically include some coverage in a policy, but not all.  Talk to your agent about this.

How Can I Save Money On My Motorcycle Insurance Coverage?

  • Establish good credit
  • Bundle your insurance policy with other policies such as your car or home insurance
  • If you’re a member of the Harley-Davidson Owners Group (applies in 42 states)
  • Some insurance carriers give a discount for having a motorcycle endorsement
  • Take a motorcycle safety course (this is great for all riders! Experienced or beginner)

Almost every state in the United States requires some form of motorcycle insurance. Contact our office for a motorcycle insurance quote! We will help you determine what coverage options fit your lifestyle the best.

How to Avoid Insurance Claims & Liabilities From Hiring Contractors

If you’re an experienced home remodeler, you’ve probably come across contractors who are willing to offer better pricing for cash deals or who are reluctant to provide you with a service contract. Did you know that you can be held liable for hiring a contractor who does not carry the right insurance and causes damages or injuries to another person or even one of their own workers? Saving a few dollars on your remodel can end up costing you thousands so follow these tips to avoid an insurance disaster.

  1. Look for obvious red flags: Getting multiple quotes for the job is a great idea, but did you find a contractor who will do the work for ½ as much as the next guy? How is this possible? When you’re inviting a contractor to your home, be sure to ask them for credentials before they come over to give you a bid. Following these steps can save you from theft, liability and even money.
  2. Ask for references: If you found a great contractor and you like him/her, ask them if they have a website or if there is someone who has had work done by them recently that you can talk to. If a contractor is proud of the work they do, they should have several references for you to call. It is okay to ask for reference and most people expect it. Most small businesses survive off of word-of-mouth advertising, so don’t be shy.
  3. Utilize the internet to look up their license: Contractors are required to have a license to perform work. You can utilize your states resources to find these contractors. An internet search will provide you with some quick references. You can even make your job quicker by asking them to provide you with a copy of their license or number.
  4. Active License, Insurance & Bond: Ask the contractor for a copy of their license as well as documentation of their insurance and bond. Note: Check the dates on the license as well as the insurance to ensure they’re currently in force or active.
  5. Get specific: Not only is it important to protect your insurance from a scam, but ensure your pocketbook doesn’t get taken for a ride too. Ask questions like, “Is this an estimate or a final bid?” “Does this estimate include parts and labor?” “Can I see where you’re buying the products beforehand?” The more questions you ask, the better you will feel and the more the contractor will understand that you’re educated on this process.

Let’s take a closer look at what some of these products do:

  1. License: A license to do business means that contractor has met local guidelines and qualification standards to work in their field. Hiring an unlicensed contractor can result in shoddy work or dangerous results such as with an electrician.
  2. Insurance: Contractors need two types of insurance really.
    1. General Liability Insurance: This will protect you from damages that the contractor causes such as a ladder falling through a window, causing a fire or overspray onto a neighboring house during some painting.
    2. Workers Compensation Insurance: This insurance will protect the contractor if one of his employees is injured on the job while on your property. If the contractor does not carry workers compensation insurance, your homeowners insurance policy might be asked to pay that workers claim.
  3. Bonds: A bond acts as a guarantee that the contractor will perform the work they’ve been asked to do. For instance, say your pay a contractor to do a job and he never gets the permits or doesn’t pay a subcontractor – collecting from his bond can help cover these costs.

Hiring a contractor this way can be a great option to bringing some new changes to your home. It is possible to really save money on these services, but just using some simple, quick research and asking the right questions can save you a bundle as well as a headache.

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An Update to Our Valued Customers and Friends

To our valued customers and friends,

As our state begins to open up, we are committed to ensuring the health of our customers and our team. Our office will remain closed to the public until July 1, as our team begins the process of returning to the workplace. We remain available through phone, email or text during our normal business hours and are committed to continuing to provide you with the service and expertise that you have come to expect from our team. We are so proud of our community’s efforts and encourage you to join us in remaining diligent in practicing health and safety precautions. Please call or text our main number, 775.358.5554 or email us at [email protected] for all your insurance needs during this time. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

 

How to Protect Yourself from Theft

Check out some tips on how to protect your stuff from theft. For any questions regarding a policy or potential coverage, please call us at 775-358-5554 or send us an email at [email protected]

 

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COVID-19 Resources

In order to assist our clients and the public in understanding and managing the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on our business community, Heuer Insurance Agency has compiled this list of resources. We are hopeful that in this uncertain time, we are able to assist in protecting your insurance portfolio.

Residential Insurance Clients

  • As you may have heard, many insurance carriers are offering premium adjustments. You may have heard directly from your carrier regarding applicable adjustments. If you have any questions or would like more information, please reach out to your carrier or our team for assistance.
  • Many carriers are offering extended payment plans and holding cancellations if you have been affected by COVID-19, if you need help with your payment please reach out to your carrier or our team for assistance.

Commercial Insurance Clients

  • CARES Act– Under The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act the Paycheck Protection Program was created. Please visit the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce for more information.
  • SBA Business Loans– Nevada was one of the first states to be approved for SBA Disaster Relief Loans. Please visit the U.S. Small Business Administration for more information.
  • Business Income Insurance – See the following information regarding business income insurance, ISO’s Business Income Response to COVID-19. If your business has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis, we recommend you make a claim directly to your carrier. They are the ones that can confirm or deny coverage.
  • Federal Sick Leave LawCongress passed The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which goes into effect Wednesday, April 1. Please view the below documents for more information.